This image by Coco + Kelly
The three day intensive, held in San Francisco began on a Saturday night with an intimate cocktail party at Nancy's very stylish home. While mingling and chatting with Kevin Chin, Nancy's wedding photographer husband, I learned that their home had just been featured in Coco + Kelly, an interior design and fashion blog. Well in truth their home might have been upstaged by the surprise guest star of the post, Chin Chin, their adorable Bichon Frise.
This image by Coco + Kelly
Chin Chin managed to get in more then a few shots that day. LOL what is with cute dogs? My friend Rich Amooi did a post about my dog Kitai on his blog and said he received a significant uptick in traffic that day. And Kevin said the majority of comments they received on Facebook about the Coco + Kelly blog post were about Chin Chin :P
I wasn't surprised at all to hear their home was featured on Coco + Kelly as it is simply stunning. Impeccably and tastefully decorated and so organized I was green with envy!
This image is from the Joshua Charles website
The party held an extra special surprise. Caterer Joshua Charles was there and was the culinary maestro who presented us with an endless assortment of delectable hors d'oeuvres including beef short rib raviolis served in a spoon with gravy, lobster bisque shooters topped with a crispy fried plantain chip, a tender white fish slightly shredded in a creamy sauce served on a tiny potato chip and shredded duck with slivers of (I think) fennel on a small round piece of toast. Dessert was grasshopper fudge bites and home made vanilla and chocolate ice cream bon bons.
If you live in the Bay Area and are ever in need of a fantastic caterer you should contact Joshua. His food is always simply amazing and he genuinely cares a lot about the the quality of the food he prepares.
So, Monday afternoon I showed up at the Flower Mart to host a one hour presentation about blogging to the Floral Academy attendees. If you've never been to the Flower Mart it's something else. There are long hallways and large rooms filled with stalls with metal gates where vendors can sell their flowers and accouterments and designers can rent a workspace to put together their orders on location.
Nancy was there, hard at work, putting together a bouquet for one of the projects later that day. I had the privilege of hearing Nancy speak on Saturday night and loved her message to her students she was about to embark on the 3 day Academy with: Work hard, succeed and give back. These are all concepts I fully embrace. She explained to them that it isn't just about being able to make beautiful floral arrangements, it's also about being an entrepreneur, being a good and authentic business person.
Come to think of it everyone was hard at work when I arrived on Monday. At least two of the attendees have blogged about their experiences with Nancy. You can read their posts here: Audrey O'Brien from Studio Stems and Marian LeBrun's Blog from Savage Rose. Thanks for the mention ladies! It was my pleasure to come speak about blogging and web design!
There were finished projects, dishes, piles and buckets of flowers all around the stall for the many projects the designers would be working on that day.
Before my arrival the attendees had learned how to make these super cute Ring Bearer Nests using carnation flowers, grapevine wreath and ribbon.
The day was action packed. I had a chance to peek at the day's itinerary and couldn't believe how many projects the group was going to accomplish. After showing how to create each of the projects, Nancy gave honest critiques on each finished project. That's why keeping the size of the class small was a priority, so that she could give each person individual attention to make their experience with her more valuable.
This was so cute. A carpet of chrysanthemums atop a horse tail reed base for a unique interpretation of a ring cushion. I'm tempted to do a little experimenting of my own as I have a huge patch of horse tail reed growing in my backyard. Maybe a project for a rainy day :)
Nancy will be hosting another 3 day workshop next spring. You can check out the details by CLICKING HERE. Her classes are limited to 6 attendees so you'll be guaranteed to receive plenty of one on one attention from Nancy herself.